Sometimes, a good documentary film explores a mystery– be it a huge international conspiracy, or something a bit more humble, such as “is the girl I’m talking to in this chatroom really hot?” Below is a list of really great mystery documentaries that trace a story back to its origins, trying to uncover the truth:
In Catfish, filmmakers Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman follow a young man who has an online relationship with a mysterious woman. But something isn’t quite right about his online crush and they set out to uncover the truth about who he’s been corresponding with through the internet. The result of the search is pretty surprising, though we won’t spoil it here.
2. Shut Up, Little Man
Here’s another fun mystery documentary: two friends record their loud neighbors fighting. Years later, after the audiotapes become a phenomenon of themselves, the filmmakers try to track down the angry roommates next door and discover the truth about what was going on. This doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, but the film definitely is.
3. Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles
Have you ever come across a Toynbee tile, embedded into the pavement of a major American city? If you have, they’re not easy to forget (see the trailer above). They started mysteriously appearing all over the country with no explanation. They’ve inspired copycat art and an entire movement dedicated to tracking down the artist, and understanding the bizarre, mysterious message encrypted in them. In this documentary, the filmmaker tries to track down their creator and gets perhaps surprisingly close.
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